Java DeveloperJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Java is one of the most widely used programming languages, so becoming a Java developer is an honorable career that will grow in size over the next five years. Java developers may work on websites or applications that are on phones, tablets, PCs, and other smart appliances. They work to make these items run smoothly for the users.

Those wanting a career in Java development should expect to work in data-heavy environments. They will constantly provide solutions using Java to help users everywhere. Java is used nearly everywhere, and these developers may work for just one company on a specific website or application, or they may work for a firm that handles multiple companies’ websites and apps. Java developers need strong analytical skills, technical skills, and design skills.

Sample job description

When you’re seeking to deliver mission-critical technology to fortune 500 companies, we want you to trust [Your company name] to handle the job. We’ve been in business for many years, and in that time, we’ve worked alongside some of the most recognized brands around the world. Right now, we’re looking to add a Java developer to our high-performance, agile team of experts.

If you’re looking to get your hands on some of the best API tech around and want experience as a Java developer in a collaborative environment, we’d love to hear from you!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Design, code, and integrate testing using the agile methodology
  • Debug and troubleshoot code issues
  • Produce client deliverable along with documentation
  • Adapt to unique business and technical requirements for case-by-case projects
  • Practice strong configuration and version control
  • Act as the face of the company towards clients and consultants
  • Provide collaborative input and be able to work independently as necessary

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or related field
  • Working knowledge of current technology and methodologies

Required skills and qualifications

  • Experience with Java development
  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills for dealing with clients, teammates, and consultants
  • Flexible mentality for handling unique challenges
  • Great time management and organizational skills

Preferred qualifications

  • One year as a Java developer
  • Experience with React
  • Experience with Spring Boot
  • Experience facilitating and managing projects
  • Passion for learning Java

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a Java developer is $97,200 per year in the United States, with a potential for cash bonuses per year. Salary may depend on the level of experience, education, and geographical location. 

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$102,300$125,050
Los Angeles, California$115,450$141,100
Denver, Colorado$96,200$117,600
Washington, DC$117,200$143,250
Miami, Florida$95,750$117,050
Orlando, Florida$88,350$107,950
Tampa, Florida$89,200$109,050
Atlanta, Georgia$93,600$114,400
Chicago, Illinois$107,600$131,500
Boston, Massachusetts$116,300$142,200
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$92,700$113,350
New York City, New York$122,450$149,650
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$99,700$121,850
Dallas, Texas$97,100$118,650
Houston, Texas$96,650$118,150
Seattle, Washington$111,950$136,850
National Average$86,450$107,900

Typical work environment

Java developers primarily work in an office environment. Working remotely may be possible under certain circumstances, like employer preference, and freelance opportunities, agency work, and more. Some travel may be expected as meetings are a component of this position.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a Java developer in an office setting are 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, although this may change for short periods of time closer to deadlines or during periods of unusually high workloads. Freelance and agency work will provide a more flexible work schedule. 

Available certifications

As Java developers work in a variety of industries, there are many institutions that offer certifications, including:

  • Oracle Certified Associate Java Programmer (OCAJP). This certification is the first of two exams. In order to become “Oracle Certified” you’ll want to obtain this as a good first step in your certification journey. There are plenty of recommended resources and courses to study before the exam.
  • Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer (OCPJP). Moving into more complicated territory, the OCPJP focuses on core Java concepts and further solidifies the foundation that the OCAJP provides. You can brush up by studying with some Udemy courses that often have steep discounts, or you can self-learn at your own pace.
  • Oracle Certified Expert – Web Component Developer (OCEWCD). The OCEWCD demonstrates your ability to operate with a significant degree of understanding. You’ll want to grab this certification if you’re looking to stand out amongst your peers when handling JavaServer Pages and Servlet Technologies like Servlet 3.0 to provide dynamic web content. You’ll first want to pass the OCAJP and OCPJP to qualify for this certification.
  • Apache Spark Developer Certification (HDPCD). This Hortonworks University certification provides a hands on, performance based look at the Hortonworks Data Platform. This will certify you have a thorough understanding of Spark Core and Spark SQL within Scala or Python. This is an excellent certification to obtain if you’re planning on moving into a big data workplace or if you’re looking to become a data scientist.
  • Professional Scrum Master Certification (PSM I). The PSM is globally accepted as the most popular of Agile methodology certifications. If you’re looking to become a Java Developer, or any developer for that matter, obtaining certification demonstrating your understanding of the Agile methodology is vital in today’s IT world. Additionally, if you step into a leadership role, having scrum master certification will significantly help your application.
  • Project Management Professional Certification (PMP). This certification is globally recognized as one of the most reputed professional management courses offered by the Project Management Institute. Based on the PMBOK Guide, this course focuses on 5 processes and 47 knowledge areas tailored to prepare you for the latest business requirements. This is for advanced users to move into a project management position, or if you’re looking to provide serious value to collaborative efforts.

Career path

It’s highly suggested to start your journey by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, like computer science, software engineering, or some other IT field. You may be able to get away without one, but it might be more difficult for you in this highly competitive field.

After or during your journey to obtaining a degree, it’s a great idea to learn not only Java, but as many programming languages as you can. Being intimately familiar with the language will be the single most powerful tool in your arsenal for being a good developer. 

After you’ve learned the language and obtained your education, getting certifications to prove your technical prowess and even your niche mastery will go a long way in showing employers you’re a competent developer. 

Once this is complete, gathering experience by working as a front or back end developer, or participating in any projects in a developer role are fantastic additions to any resume.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1257

2020 Employment1,847,900
Projected Employment in 20301,888,553
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 22% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift409,500 increase

As long as businesses need massive, enterprise-wide software to function quickly and efficiently, they’ll need Java developers in the background to make sure it stays that way. The only better time to become a Java developer was sooner, as the field is highly competitive, but for every company that transitions into the digital world, the demand will increase. Alongside the inclusion of smart appliances, every new model of phone, web browser, gaming console, and much more, there’s no end in sight for how many developers will be needed to fill the role. 

Sample interview questions

  • What do you consider to be the major features of Java?
  • What’s the difference between a path and a classpath variable?
  • Is Java Pass By or Pass By Reference?
  • What’s the final Keyword in Java?
  • What are the access modifiers in Java?
  • What’s a static import?
  • What is Enum?
  • What is Composition?
  • Can you explain the Java Reflection API?
  • What’s the volatile keyword?
  • How would you write a custom exception?
  • What is OutOfMemoryError?
  • Can you have an empty catch block?
  • What are the types of JDBC drivers?

Are you interested in becoming a Java developer?

We will connect you to one of our headhunters or recruiters to see if you are a perfect fit for one of our job openings. If a job opening does not suit you, we will always keep you in mind as new positions open up. We have vast experience connecting professionals with some of the most well-known organizations in the country. Your next job or career path can be right around the corner. Check out our latest job openings and our blog for career advice.


Similar job titles and careers

  • Full Stack Developer
  • Front End Developer
  • Back End Developer
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Programmer
  • Computer Scientist
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Computer Network Architect
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Database Administrator
  • Database Architect
  • Web Developer
  • Digital Designer

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